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Exam Boards

Academic Progression

Permission to Proceed to Writing a Dissertation

After Term 3 (around mid/late June), when all your taught module coursework has been submitted, an Examination Board (consisting at this stage of internal members) will be held to review all marks and individual student progress. Provided you have achieved a Pass mark (a mark of 50 or above) in 90 CATS’ worth of assessed work (including all core modules) and at least 40 in the remaining modules, you will normally be allowed to proceed to writing your dissertation. This is a just formal designation: work on your dissertation should be quite advanced by this stage! If you have not achieved this, you will have the opportunity to resubmit failed assessments worth up to 60 CATS in total.

This Examination Board will also recommend that students following the taught MA part-time should be allowed to proceed to their second year, provided that the assessed work submitted so far has reached the required level.

Marking and Examination Conventions

The pass mark is 50. Marks between 60 and 69 will be awarded to work of merit level, and marks of 70 and above to work of distinction standard. Where dissertations have not met the required standard, candidates may be asked by the November Exam Board to resubmit within a specified time limit.

Difficulties with Progression

You should submit all required work on time and in the correct, acceptable format and using the correct method of submission. If you are experiencing any difficulties which are preventing you from studying and progressing as you would wish, you must inform your Personal Tutor who can offer support to help you deal with the difficulties and advise you on how to proceed.

Deferral of an Examination Period

If you have severe circumstances which mean that you will be unable to take assessments such as examinations during an official University examination period (e.g. June, September examination period) the PGT Course Director may recommend that you defer the entire examinations period to the next available opportunity.

Deferral of an examination period is governed by the University’s Deferral of Examination PolicyLink opens in a new window which was implemented for all undergraduate and taught postgraduate students from April 2020.

Only the PGT Course Director may make a request to defer an examination period on a student’s behalf. This must be made known to the PGT Course Director in advance of the examinations period and you must be experiencing significant difficulties due to your personal circumstances. This may be due to practical limitations such as lack of access to appropriate technology or health problems that are acute in nature.

Students should submit a claim for Mitigating Circumstances via the Mitigating Circumstances Portal in Tabula before discussing with their PGT Course Director whether a deferral of examinations is the right course of action for them.

Deferral of an Examination Period should not be seen as a substitute for seeking Reasonable Adjustments to assessment(s), which are agreed with Disability Services. However, where reasonable adjustments cannot be made due to current circumstances, it may be possible to defer an examination period.



There is a right to remedy failure in ALL failed modules without the requirement for there to be mitigating circumstances. The ability to remedy failure will be offered at the next available opportunity (normally the September resit period). There is no right to remedy failure at component level if the module is passed overall. The maximum pass mark which may be awarded for a module on re-examination is 50.

All core modules must be passed in order to be awarded the MA

Please see the full policy, including details about failure due to late penalties and plagiarism here

Degree Classification

Degree Classification Rules

Marking and Examination Conventions

The pass mark is 50. Marks between 60 and 69 will be awarded to work of merit level, and marks of 70 and above to work of distinction standard. Where dissertations have not met the required standard, candidates may be asked by the November Exam Board to resubmit within a specified time limit.

November Exam Board

After the marking of dissertations, a final Examination Board (including external examiners) will be held to review and confirm all marks. Final marks and degree classifications will be confirmed at this point.

University Requirements for Taught Postgraduate Awards


Exit Awards

‘Exit’ awards have been developed in order to recognise the achievement of postgraduate students where it was not possible to award the highest qualification for which they were registered, this includes students as follows:

  • who have not met progression requirements
  • who withdraw due to personal or medical reasons
  • who are restarting on another degree programme

There is an expectation that Boards of Examiners will make a recommendation to allow a student to remedy failure (e.g. resit, resit without residence as appropriate), wherever possible, to allow students an opportunity to progress, and only recommend an exit qualification where these possibilities have been exhausted (or are not available).

A Postgraduate Diploma may be awarded to:

  • Students who have completed all assessed work satisfactorily, but have failed to produce a satisfactory dissertation, as determined by the Final MA Exam Board in November.
  • Students unable to proceed to writing a dissertation following completion of coursework, as determined by the Interim MA Exam Board in June.

Further information on exit awards may be found here.

Summary of Credit Requirements for Awards:


Total Minimum Credit to be Taken

Total Minimum Credit to be Passed: including all core modules as a minimum of 50%

Highest Level of Credit

Minimum Credit to be Passed at Highest Level

Master (PGT)





PG Dip





PG Cert






All information regarding the University's degree ceremonies can be found on the Awards and Ceremonies website.



The University has agreed on appeals proceduresLink opens in a new window. If you wish to consult them, you should approach the PGT Course Director.

University Progression Conventions can be found on the Teaching Quality website.


Transcripts/Degree Certificates

Postgraduate students do not receive a Higher Education Achievement Report (HEAR). A departmental letter can be requested from the PG History Office via email, alternatively, you can check your marks via Tabula at all times.

When you finish your degree, you will receive a Degree Certificate alongside your transcript. Usually, this is presented at your Graduation Ceremony. If you are not able to attend graduation, or if you need a replacement copy, it can be posted to you. See



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